According to a recent analysis of 2018 home sales and open houses, Redfin found that houses for sale that had an open house in their first week on the market sold for up to $9,046 more. They also discovered that those homes spent seven fewer days on the market versus those homes without open houses.
The analysis of homes was measured by sale-to-list price ratios and time on market. The data used in this analysis was for homes listed in 2018, with open houses held during 2018. Only open houses held within one week of a home going on the market and homes with no open house at all were included in the data; homes with an open house after the first week were not included in the analysis. The analysis only included open houses held on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
They also added the caveat that the benefit of having an open house can vary by metro and is also most likely affected by the desirability of the homes themselves as well as the way they are marketed, versus the open house itself.
“Holding an open house is an efficient way for sellers to get more eyes on a home, and a bigger pool of potential buyers can help lead to a higher ultimate sale price,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “In many areas, homes that are already primed for competition tend to be the ones with open houses because the listing agent knows it will attract a lot of attention and wants to set up a convenient way for multiple potential buyers to pop in at once instead of making several appointments for private tours.”
For instance, in the San Francisco metro area, homes with an open house during the first week sold for 7.9 percent more relative to their list price than homes with no open house, the biggest premium of any metro in the U.S.
San Jose followed, where homes with open houses sold for 5.2 percent more. In Raleigh, North Carolina, homes with open houses sold for 4.6 percent more relative to their list price than those without. For a home in Raleigh listed at the metro area’s median sale price of $286,000, that could potentially mean a difference of more than $13,000 in the final sale price.
“San Francisco real estate culture is dominated by open houses. The majority of my clients attend open houses because they know it’s their best chance to see a competitive property or multiple properties on the same day,” said local Redfin agent Miriam Westberg. “If a home in the area doesn’t have an open house, it’s often because it’s either owner-occupied or tenant-occupied. Those homes tend to sell for a bit less than comparable homes with open houses because they’re difficult to show and don’t get as much traffic or as many offers.”
A home for sale in Miami that had an open house during its first week on the market tended to go under contract within 27 days. This is compared to 38 days for a home with no open house. Additionally, homes in the Miami area that had an open house during their first week for sale sold for 1.2 percent more, relative to their list price versus homes with no open house.
“I usually list properties on a Thursday or Friday, then hold an open house on Saturday or Sunday. I also hold private showings because it’s so important to get as many potential buyers into the home as possible,” said Jessica Johnson, a Redfin agent in Miami. “Open houses can help homes sell faster. When homebuyers see other people at an open house, it can motivate them to place an offer more quickly than they otherwise would. I had two listings go under contract last week after just one weekend on the market. In both cases, the buyers first saw the home at the open house.”
In other metro areas where homes with open houses tended to spend more time on the market, it’s likely the sellers who know their home might be difficult to sell are those having open houses. “When a home seller and their agent know a property is going to be a challenge to sell, they do everything they can to make it easy for buyers to see it,” said Redfin senior economist Taylor Marr. “It’s very possible these homes would have taken even longer to sell without the open house.”
Baltimore is the only metro of the areas included in this analysis where homes with open houses sell for less money relative to their list price than homes without, though it’s just 0.4 percent less.